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Task force releases 'blueprint' for Vancouver's green economy

Mayor Gregor Robertson campaigned on the promise to make Vancouver the greenest city in the world. Today, the task force charged with plotting that green goal -- the Greenest City Action Team -- released a list of policy recommendations and actions the city could adopt immediately.

The 72-page report, Greenest City Quick Start Recommendations, is focused on creating a green economy in the city. Among those recommendations:

Conduct a bylaw review to address obstacles to green technologies like green roofs, rainwater harvesting, greywater use and composting toilets.

Partner with community groups, vocational training programs and unions to create a green jobs pilot project. Focus on "green pathways out of poverty:" training unemployed people on projects like tree planting or electronics refurbishment.

Install a solar thermal hot water system at Brockton Oval in Stanley Park, and start a solar thermal hot water pilot project for residential buildings.

Identify areas where district heating could work (such as the Women's and Children's Hospital).

The report also included recommendations for improving human health and greening communities:

Create a public bike-sharing program, and provide free parking and charging for electric scooters and vehicles.

Implement a city-wide composting program (the most frequent citizen suggestions to the Greenest City Action Team).

Urge Metro Vancouver and the provincial government to accelerate upgrade scheduler to Iona and Lions Gate waste treatment plants.

Establish long-term licenses for existing farmers' markets.

The action team will deliver a more comprehensive 10-year plan later this year, including benchmarks to monitor Vancouver's progress.

Colleen Kimmett reports for The Hook.

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